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Empire Interactive
IDFA 2014

Empire Interactive

Kel O'Neill, Eline Jongsma
United States, Netherlands
2014
80 min
World Premiere
Festival history
A synagogue in the Indonesian hills, a Brazilian rainforest village populated by blond descendants of Dutch immigrants, an isolated “whites only” community of separatist farmers in South Africa: Dutch colonialism has left its traces across the world. Over the course of four years, the makers of visited 10 countries to document these traces. Notions of what it is to be Dutch, Dutch identity or Dutch heritage have developed in very different ways in these geographical niches than how they have in the Netherlands itself. In this highly dynamic combination of documentary film, multichannel video installations, text and experience design presents the full complexity of the Dutch diaspora. The central themes are tackled in four chapters along two or more axes. In, for example, death and birth are juxtaposed, embodied respectively by an undertaker who handles 2,000 caskets at Schiphol Airport each year and a young Korean child traveling with his Dutch adoptive parents to the country of his birth. visits Sri Lanka, Indonesia, India and South Africa. And the viewer can only leave the chapter on slavery and migration once all the stories have been told. offers perspective on the long-term effects of colonialism and makes them palpable.
Credits
Screening copy
    Jongsma + O'Neill
    Jongsma + O'Neill
Co-production
    Amdoc
    Amdoc
Involved TV Channel
    PBS International
    PBS International